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5 ReactJS Best Practices for Security of your App

React is a hot choice amongst the developers in 2022. It’s one of the famous JS libraries used for app development. The features like the constant development of the libraries make it more preferable. There are many advantages of using React, but it also has some susceptible security falls. Developers should use ReactJS best practices for the better security of your app.

There are different types of attacks hackers are using to steal user’s data; cross-site scripts, & URL injections, are some of them. To prevent your React app from these vulnerabilities, there are specific measures that it should have.

Here, we will go through the 5 best React practices and security guides that will definitely make your React app safer. Let’s see them in detail!

React- Why Use it?

Reactjs is the most popular JavaScript web development platform. React is a robust framework for building interactive and dynamic user interfaces. To create online applications that load quickly and grow, you might engage a web app development company.

Some of the essential characteristics that make ReactJS a wise decision for web development include the following:

  • Building reusable components
  • Virtual DOM
  • Uses for a high intermediate layer with improved performance
  • Flux\sSupports
  • REDUX supports a variety of extensions, libraries, and developer tools.

Let’s switch to the ReactJS best practices to follow to cut the security threats to your application.

1# Follow a Project Structure

The first step in developing a react project is to specify a flexible project plan.
Using the npm command “create-react-app,” you can build a new base structure for a react application.

Depending on the details and complexity of the project, the React folder structure may vary.
When establishing project architecture, the following react js best practices can be taken into consideration:

The Higher-Order Components (HOC)

React’s an advanced methodology- HOC enables the reuse of component functionality within the display method. A component can be changed into a greater complexity of the component by using an elevated version of the component.

For instance, when the user logs in, we might need to display some components. You must include the identical code with each component to verify this. Thus, the Higher-Order Component ensures that the user is signed in and keeps your code contained within a single app component.

CSS-in-JS Method

Like managing those enormous CSS files, styling and graphics can be difficult in a larger project. Thus, the idea of CSS-in-JS solutions (i.e., embedding CSS in JavaScript) emerged.

On this idea, the following libraries are built:

  • Glamorous
  • EmotionJS
  • Styled Components

Based on your requirements, you can choose one of these libraries, such as styled components or Glamorous for complex themes.

Begin with Folder Layout

React architecture focuses on reusable components, making the design sharable amongst various projects. Therefore, the concept of a component-centric file structure must be applied, according to which each component’s relevant files (such as test, CSS, assets, JavaScript, etc.) must be kept in its own folder.

For Example:

Components
|
--Login
|
--tests--
--Login.test.js
--Login.jsx
--Login.scss
--LoginAPI.js

Use Children Props

The content of one component may occasionally need to be rendered inside of another one. Therefore, we can provide functions to the component render functions as children props.

2# HTTP Authentication

You may secure identification in your app in a number of ways. Keep a close eye on client-side authorization and authentication since these processes frequently have security issues. To ensure the security of your app, get one of these.

JSON Web Token (JWT)

  • Since extracting tokens from local storage is pretty simple, move them from local storage to an HTTP cookie.
  • The backend is where you keep, sign, and validate the secret keys.
  • Avoid client-side token parsing, and make sure the content is minimal.
  • HTTPS is always preferred over HTTP.

Other approaches:

  • React Router
  • OAuth
  • PassportJs
  • AuthO

3# Securing Primary Authentication of the React App

Making sure that the communication between the client and the server is safe is a fundamental but crucial aspect of your application’s safety.

Making sure the domain header contains a realm attribute is a quick and easy approach to accomplish this when developing your application. It keeps track of authorised users and requests a login information to access any material that is restricted.

When possible, using multi-factor verification is another simple and efficient method. By using two or more login information to confirm their identity, a user will only be allowed access to crucial areas of your application using this authentication approach.

Another fundamental guideline is to generate a new session ID using a safe server-side session manager for each new login.

It serves to reduce XSS and broken authentication concerns when your React.js app has the fundamental safe authentication set up.
Here’s an instance using which you can set security Realm:

<security-realm name=”ApplicationRealm”>

  <authentication>

    <local default-user=”$local” allowed-users=”comma-separated-list”/>

    <properties path=”application-users.properties”/>

  </authentication>

  <authorization>

    <properties path=”application-roles.properties”/>

  </authorization>

</security-realm>

4# Use blocklist/allowlist and validation with URL parsing

You should use extreme caution when employing the anchor tag (a) and URLs to link material to prevent attackers from including payloads that have JavaScript added.

Always verify the URL using the HTTP or HTTPS standards to prevent URL-based malware script injection.
function validURL(url) {
const parse = new URL(url)
return ['https:', 'http:'].includes(parse.protocol)
}
a href="{validURL(url)"> It’s a Link!

Using the blocklist/allowlist method is another way to secure your React application.

Blocklisting is possessing a list of all the connections that are potentially dangerous and will be prohibited if access is sought. In contrast, allowlisting is a collection of safe and accessible links.

It is challenging to keep track of all the potentially harmful links. Therefore it is best to allow only well-known websites and block all others. Broken authentication, XSS, arbitrary code run, and SQL injection can all be avoided via URL validation.

5# Security against third-party Components and Libraries

Every time you incorporate a third-party library, API, or module, into your React application, there is a danger associated. They contribute significantly to the quick creation of features, but who knows if their own security issues won’t ruin your program!

Manually upgrade libraries to the most recent stable and secure releases whenever possible.

Apply updates to older versions of the components in a similar manner. Check for any security flaws in these libraries first before including them in your project.

Security Vulnerabilities that React faces

In this era, the more data shared over the internet, the more vulnerable it becomes. You might already be aware of the risks that technologies used in your app have.

React is undoubtedly fast and convenient, and these features make it easy not to remember the security vulnerabilities.

The React is still not completely secure, despite having fewer attack holes than other frameworks. React is susceptible to security breaches due to its interoperability with other open-source components and lack of robust default security settings.

Various apps are constantly sharing massive amounts of personal data. Hence, there is a higher risk (and likelihood) of financial and private information being disclosed. Additionally, if your business uses React, a data leak may result in breaking privacy laws.

Over to You

We’d like to quickly summarise this knowledge by saying that security concerns exist regardless of the technology you use to construct apps. The ReactJS best practices described in this article will limit your app’s vulnerabilities if appropriately used. So, request that your developer do the same to ensure that your React app runs well.

EnProwess Technologies is a global software and app development company. We are a team of experienced and qualified Angular developers. They have demonstrated their intellect by working on numerous massive projects for our illustrious clientele worldwide.

Nimisha Kapadia

Nimisha Kapadia is the Technical head of EnProwess - an emerging custom software development company that offers mobile app development, web app development, dedicated developers, and software testing service at a competitive price. Her bold leadership and foresight have taken the company to great heights. She loves to read and share her insights on the tech industry.

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